Like a mini-Franz Ferdinand, this was the days of angular pop and cheekbones. The Rakes had both and some tunes to boot.
Date: April 28, 2009
Venue: Rescue Rooms
The Rakes kind of lost their way a little on their sophomore album. Second Album Syndrome enveloped them, and their new ‘progressive’ record was as welcome as a sudden breeze to a scenester’s jaunty fringe. But, seeing as they’ve out-Franzed Franz Ferdinand on their third album, ‘Klang’, we’ll let them off, because they’ve returned to what they do best: punchy, angular art-rock with observant and biting lyrics.
Alan Donohoe – The Rakes’ foppish, red-gloved Cocker/Curtis hybrid of a front man – elicits sharp, whimsical reflections on everything from the minutiae of personal relationships to the state of Britain today, and throws some pretty peculiar shapes along the way.
He twitches like a malfunctioning switchboard through new album highlights including the frenetic 1989, the hyperactive Joy Divisional That’s The Reason, The Final Hill – which doffs its cap to The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand equally – and the promiscuous The Light From Your Mac, with it’s playful, suggestive bassline.
But it’s the songs which started the art-rock revolution that really set the pulses racing. 22 Grand Job’s ennui couldn’t be more applicable in this recession, and given that it’s a bonafide indie classic, it ensures much adulation, while set closer Strasbourg arouses unprecedented mayhem.
The Rakes are back then, and they’re sharper than ever.